Category Archives: Brown

James Brown (c1838-1901+) & Jane Leckey (c1843-1885), Queens, New Brunswick, Canada

This is the final post covering the Colwell/Caldwell and Brown families who settled in Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada.

These families are collateral lines in my family tree – I am not related to any of them and do not have any additional information about these people.

James Brown’s family has not one, but three links, to the family of Robert and Sarah (MNU) Colwell, who arrived in New Brunswick in the 1820s, reportedly from County Londonderry, Ireland.

James Brown, although born in New Brunswick, Canada, c1838, was the son of Guias Brown and MIss Fleming, whose children also reported in Canadian censuses that their parents were born in Ireland.

While the senior Colwells and Browns may have been born in Ireland, both families are Protestant and, with Robert Colwell reportedly from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, I believe both these families might have Scots-Irish origins, having left Scotland in the early 1700s.

James Brown married Jane Leckey, c1863, probably in Queens, New Brunswick, Canada. She was the daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth (MNU) Leckey, who were also both born in Ireland and also settled in New Brunswick early on. However, the Leckeys reported being of Scots origin, which supports my theory that all three families were Scots-Irish.

James and Jane were parents of nine children:

1. Lorenzo Augustus, born c1864; died 3 February 1882 of consumption, Chipman, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; unmarried
2. Violet M., born c1866; died 23 May 1890 from influenza, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; unmarried
3. Moses Reuben, born 8 August 1866; died 12 August 1916, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married Delphine Colwell, 27 November 1894, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada. Delpine was the daughter of Robert Colwell and Annie Day.
4. John Albert, born c1869; died 16 August 1903 of inanition (exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment), Rollinsford, Strafford, New Hampshire; married (1) Charlotte J. Crawford, 22 September 1890, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada (2) Eliza M. Campbell, 28 November 1900, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts
5. Rosilla J., born c1872; died 8 November 1893, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; unmarried. Her death notice says she left a father, 3 brothers and 2 sisters.
6. James, born c1874; died after 1901, when he was unmarried and living with his father.
7. Florence Amelia, born December 1876; died 7 November 1939, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married James Walter Colwell, 27 November 1894, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada. James was also the son of Robert Colwell and Annie Day.
8. Alberta E., born November 1879; died after 1921; married Robert Porter Colwell, 28 February 1895. Robert was the third children of Robert Colwell and Annie Day to marry children of James and Jane Brown.
9. Laura A., born July 1881; died 25 March 1882, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada

Of the nine children of James and Jane (Leckey) Brown, four died young and unmarried and a fifth, James Jr., was unmarried as of 1901. What became of him is not known.

However, the other four siblings married, had children and have descendants today.

Please leave a comment if you are related!



Guias Brown (c1800-1851), Queens, New Brunswick, Canada

Today, I’m sharing the second of what will now be three June posts about the Colwell and Brown families, who settled in Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada in the 1820s, and both of whom were Irish immigrant families.

These two families are collateral lines in my family tree and I am not related to any of these people.

However, there are many descendants live today, including some of my close relatives and I’ve found quite a bit of misinformation or incomplete details online so I’ve done a bit of online research myself to present a more accurate account of these two families.

Guias Brown, or Guy as he was known, is the patriarch of the Brown family that settled in and around Cumberland Bay, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada.

He was born c1800, reportedly in Ireland, as in 1891, his son James indicated both his parents were of Irish birth, and, according to a “Chipman government record” (which I have not found), he died on 14 February 1851 in Chipman, Queens County.

The 1851 census for Queens County is lost and neither he nor his wife is found in 1861.

FamilySearch family tree for Guias Brown includes a memory document, which is a transcription of a news article published in 1893 about a family reunion that was held by the descendants of Guy Brown.

Because his children apparently supplied much of the family information, including their spouses’ names, I believe that the family data is likely accurate. This is in the absence of marriage and death records in that era.

Guias Brown married a Miss Fleming, possibly the daughter of andrew Fleming, whose property bordered that of Guias Brown, probably around 1827, and most likely in Queens County. Her first name is unproven, but is said to be Martha. [No documentation found.]

Guy and his wife were the parents of twelve children, six sons and six daughters.

Using the reunion article as a family template, supplemented by census records and online databases at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (one of my very favorite websites), I’ve been able to piece together what I believe to be a more complete and accurate representation of the Guias Brown family.


1. Mary Jane, born 7 April 1828; died after 1901, probably Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married Henry Hasson, c1850
2. Andrew, born 2 July 1829; died 5 June 1902; Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married Isabella Smith
3. John Daniel, born 31 December 1831; died 31 January 1913, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada
4. Guias, born c1833; died after 1861; married Catherine A. (MNU). This family disappears after the 1861 census.
5. William Henry, born 6 December 1837; died 12 December 1923, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married (1) Anna Smith?, c1860 (2) Christina (MNU), c1873 (3) Phoebe (MNU)
6. James, born c1838; died after 1893, probably Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married Jane Leckey, c1863.
7. Martha A., born c1840; died after 1871; married Guy McCollum, c1861
8. George, born c1841; died between 1893-1900, probably Neligh, Anelope, Nebraska; married Eleanor Leckey, c1866
9. Elizabeth, born c1843; died after 1901; married Joseph Crawford, c1859
10. Catherine, born c1845; married James McCutchen, c1867
11. Charlotte, born 2 June 1846; died after 1901, probably Queens, New Brunswick, Canada; married Andrew Crawford, c1869
12. Sarah, born c1848; died before 1893; married James Ackerman

You’ll notice that information is a bit spotty for several of the daughters.

“Guias” McCollum is enumerated in Chipman, Queens County in 1861. This particular census only names head of household and there was one female at home, but no children. They were probably newlyweds.

Guy and Martha were enumerated with children in Chipman in 1871, but the entire family was gone by 1881.

Sarah is not a proven child in this family. If she is a daughter, she died before the 1893 reunion. She has not been found in a census with James Ackerman and he is only found as a boarder in a house in 1871. If she did marry him, she may have not had any surviving children.

Catherine is also an unproven child in this family. Thomas William McCutchen was born March 1868 in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. He is not found in any census before 1901. His marriage record names his parents as James McCutchen and Katherine Brown. It appears both died before 1871 or else James died, Catherine remarried and Thomas is enumerated under the name of a stepfather.

If you are a descendant of Guias Brown, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

The last post about this family will publish on 29 June 2023. It will cover the family of James Brown, as two of his children married into the Colwell family.

Abiel Brown of Reading, MA: Another Disappearing Act!

Recently, I wrote about William Hay, his disappearance from Stoneham, Massachusetts c1780, and reappearance in Vermont.

Today, we will look at a second disappearing act – Abiel Brown – who just happens to be the father-in-law of William Hay. However, I don’t believe their disappearances from local town records are connected.

Abiel Brown was born 7 July 1715 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the son of Josiah Brown and Susannah Goodwin.

On 25 March 1736, Abiel married Sarah Green, daughter of Deacon Daniel Green and Mary Bucknam of Stoneham, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

I have no idea what Abiel’s occupation was – perhaps he was a shoemaker like William Hay – but there is not a single mention of his name in the grantor or grantee land indexes of Middlesex County, Massachusetts so farming, even for sustenance, was not his thing.

His father, Josiah, owned land, but in his will passed it on to his sons Nathaniel and Jonathan.

Abiel and Sarah apparently settled at Wakefield, Massachusetts after their marriage, as their first child was born there and a second baby died there in 1738. The family then moved on to Stoneham, where the rest of their children were born.


  1. Abiel, baptized 26 December 1736; died 13 December 1737
  2. Child, died April 1738
  3. Abiel, born 21 May 1740; died before 30 June 1776 when widow Thankful (MNU) gave birth to her son Abiel in Reading.
  4. Huldi, born 10 May 1745; married Daniel Green, January 1765
  5. Phebe, born 29 March 1747; died 17 February 1783; married William Hay, 25 January 1765.
  6. Daniel Green, born 11 February 1748/49; died 18 December 1826; married Rebecca Smith, 2 May 1771.
  7. Mary, born 9 May 1750; married John Crocker, 9 November 1769.
  8. William, born 3 August 1752; no further record
  9. Eunice, born 16 May 1755; perhaps the one who married Jacob Goodale of Southborough on 29 October 1771 in Stoneham.

Now, here is the mystery. Abiel was living at the time his father, Josiah, wrote his will on 5 June 1752 and when it was proved in court on 9 September 1754:

Middlesex County, MA Probate File 3121
Source: American Ancestors

Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Son abiel Brown or to his Heirs the Sum of Twenty one pounds Six Shillings and eight pence in Lawful money of New England to be paid in an Equal proportion by my Two Sons Nathaniel and Jonathan to the Said abiel or to his Heirs in convenient time after the decease of my wife. also I hereby (order?) my said Two Sons Nathll and Jonathan to pay in behalf of my Son abiel the Sum of about forty pounds in Lawful money of New England more or less for the payment of which Sum is part I am Bound with and for the Said abiel to the Town of Stoneham and as to the rest of Said Sum, my Son Jonathan is bound for, and with the said Abiel, to Capt. Peter Hay and to William Johnson in Separate obligations. To be paid in an Equal proportion by my Said Two Sons Nathll & Jonathan in Convenient time after my decease if it Shall not appear to be paid before. Likewise I Give him one third of all my wearing apparel and one third of al my books only Excepting as afforesaid to Nathaniel and to my wife as given to them in their Parragraphs. The above mentioned legacy i give to my said Son Abiel in addition to what he hath allready received and notwithstanding he hath in writing Quitted my estate.

One further record has been found:

This is a warning out notice from Stoneham, where the family had lived since at least May 1740, when Abiel’s son, Abiel Jr., was born. It’s interesting that Abiel Sr. and Jr. were warned out when Jr. had been born in the town. The notice is undated, but the previous page notes that a warned out family had arrived on 18 July 1757, so this entry likely dates from later in 1757.

From Josiah Brown’s will, it seems that Abiel Sr. had some mounting debts and since he had been born in Reading, perhaps Stoneham townsmen preferred to have Reading deal with him.

The only other record in which Abiel’s name comes up is at the death of his wife, Sarah, on 6 May 1769, notably in Reading, at which time she is called the widow of Abiel.

Therefore, Abiel died sometime between 18 July 1757 and 6 May 1769. That’s a wide time span.

Where and when did Abiel die? Wife Sarah’s estate was inventoried when she died, in spite of the fact that she owned no real estate and her household belongings weren’t extravagant. Her death is also recorded in Stoneham.

Why, then, isn’t Abiel’s death recorded and his estate inventoried in Massachusetts?

It surely would have had  more monetary value than that of Sarah’s.

For many years, I have had no answer to these questions. Recently, though, I took a new look at Massachusetts records and believe I’ve found a clue.

I’ve never noticed this before, so taking a new look is a good thing:

Reading, MA Vital Records
Source: AmericanAncestors

Abiel Brown had a son named Abiel who married Thankful (MNU). That is a mystery, too, since Massachusetts marriages tend to be well documented in this time period.

However, Abiel’s disappearance and Thankful’s unknown maiden name might be linked to the birth of the son of Abiel Jr. and Thankful on 7 June 1769.

Although it is recorded in Reading, Massachusetts, Abiel III was born at “Rousik at the Easterd” with the note that it is probably Arrowsic, Maine, on the eastern bank of the Kennebec River.

I think that Abiel Sr., possibly with his whole family, and Abiel Jr. went to Lincoln County, Maine with the idea of settling there.

Could the Browns have headed to Maine in the spring of 1765? That might have been the catalyst for daughters Huldi and Phebe to marry in January of that year.

Life in Maine must have been difficult and the family eventually returned to Massachusetts without Abiel Sr. Abiel Jr. had also died by 30 June 1776, when his son Abiel was born to widow Thankful Brown in Reading.

Widow Thankful Brown married (2) Jacob Walton, 8 July 1783 in Reading, but the couple then lived in Wakefield where Jacob died on 4 September 1789 of consumption, aged 69 years.

Thankful died on 11 April 1800 in Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts, aged 62 years, so born c1737.

I have read deed indexes and court records for Lincoln County, Maine, but so far have not found any reference to Abiel Brown. Given that he never owned land in Massachusetts, it isn’t surprising to not find him in Maine land deeds.

As for court records, they are very limited in that time period so it isn’t really a surprise that he isn’t mentioned in them either.

Probate records list a couple of Browns, but not Abiel Sr. or Abiel Jr. Abiel Jr. may also have died in Maine.

However, now at least I think I know where Abiel Brown might have died, if the family move to Reading after being warned out of Stoneham.